Lawrie's WR703N Notes

[Initial Installation] [More Functionality] [Upgrade/Rebuild] [Added Packages] [Using TP-Link Firmware] [Useful Links]

Just a few notes on how I modify & reconfigure TP-Link WR703N's to run OpenWRT as a home server/node. These are a really tiny, ultra-cheap (~$25), Chinese "3G travel router", using an Atheros AR7240 400MHz ARM CPU with just 4Mb flash & 32Mb RAM. They come with chinese firmware that needs to be replaced with a suitable english alternative. For general server use, I reflash them with the OpenWRT linux variant designed for small device use, and use an 8Gb USB drive as extroot, as I believe this is the most flexible and configurable alternative. There is also a version of the TP-Link firmware, written for the close cousin (and slightly more expensive) MR3020 (which is available from Australian suppliers, and likely a good choice if you actually want its default functionality).

Tips on Initial Installation

Tips on Adding More Functionality

Tips on Upgrade/Rebuild

My Selection of Added Packages

Clearly the packages added depends on what you want a specific system to do.

The process for adding modules using opkg is to first import the package list (needed after every reboot, since stored in volatile /var), and to then install the desired packages:

opkg update
opkg install list of packages to install

On my systems, I've generally chosen to add some of the following:

USB storage/ext4 (required for extroot support, on internal flash)
kmod-usb-storage block-mount kmod-fs-ext4
FAT filesystem support (assumes block-mount already added)
kmod-fs-vfat kmod-nls-cp437 kmod-nls-iso8859-1
SMB filesystem support (assumes block-mount already added)
kmod-fs-cifs cifsmount
common utilities
diffutils less nano sudo vim
PHP5 (+ key modules for pmwiki use) for web cgi
php5 php5-cgi php5-mod-session php5-mod-xml zoneinfo-core zoneinfo-australia-nz
nb. ensure have set doc_root to nothing in /etc/php.ini
nb. for security make /usr/bin/php-cgi setuid www.www (or any non-root user you have added to system)
extra lua modules
audio support (see [13])
kmod-sound-core alsa-lib libsndfile pulseaudio-daemon mpd mpc
usb webcam support (see [14])
kmod-video-uvc mjpg-streamer

Using TP-Link Firmware

Useful Links

  1. OpenWRT TP-Link WR703N page -
  2. OpenWRT Documentation -
  3. Attitude Adjustment v12.09 Trunk Release -
  4. Silicon Chip Nov 2012 article on WR703N -,+Pt.1
  5. How to flash TP-Link WR703N with OpenWrt -
  6. TP-Link WR703N OpenWrt post installation tips -
  7. OpenWRT USB Storage HowTo -
  8. OpenWRT Extroot HowTo -
  9. Ben Brown Extroot Blog -
  10. OpenWRT HowTos -
  11. OpenWRT uhttpd -
  12. OpenWRT Sysupgrade doc -
  13. OpenWRT USB Audio -
  14. OpenWRT USB Video -
  15. Howto TP-LINK TL-WR703N / Install TP-LINK software from GUI
  16. TP-Link Firmware Downloads